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Homemade Taco Seasoning

4.92 from 23 votes

posted: 03/25/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Homemade Taco Seasoning comes together fast with measurements for one pound of meat or for a whole container to keep in your pantry! Make it extra spicy or keep it mild. We use this recipe weekly!

bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning next to cilantro with tomatoes in the background


This Taco Seasoning recipe has become an absolute staple in my house. I love this homemade taco seasoning recipe so much because you can see that there are two versions for it, a small batch and a big batch. Make the small batch for one recipe at dinner time, or make the big batch version and always have it on hand.

Additionally, because you are making it at home, you can control the ingredients. I have instructions for controlling the spice level and the amount of salt.


Looking to make dinner right now? Make the small batch version.

Want to always have this on hand? Make the big batch version.

  • The small batch version amounts to 1 ounce or 3 tablespoons, the same as the taco seasoning packet from the grocery store.
  • The big batch version amounts to 1 1/2 cups or 8 small packets. Pull out 3 tablespoons at a time to equal one pound of meat.
small white plate with different spices for taco seasoning recipe


Taco seasoning is incredibly simple to make, since it is just measuring out the spices and whisking them together. If you want to hear me talk far too long on it, check out the video below.

You need:

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • kosher salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper (vary the amount depending on the level of heat you want)

Whisk the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.


The big bonus of this recipe is that you can make this recipe mild, medium or hot! We tend to keep it mild for the kids, but love it medium for us.

  • For mild: take out the cayenne pepper completely
  • For medium: leave the cayenne pepper as is
  • For hot: double the cayenne pepper


Yes! Depending on your dietary restrictions, you can cut the salt in this recipe. I would start with cutting the salt in half. If your diet requires very strict sodium restrictions, cut the salt entirely and then allow your family to salt their meal to taste.


If you store your taco seasoning in an air tight container, it should stay good for 1 to 2 years. That said, I think you will use it a lot faster than that.

over head shot of small white plate with spices for chicken taco seasoning


I’ve had a number of viral recipes that started with this homemade taco seasoning!

  • TACO BRAID – This recipe has a viral Facebook video that has been shared over 300k times!
  • TACO SOUP – I’ve been loving this soup for YEARS and it has been pinned over 40k times
  • TACO PASTA SALAD – The video for this post broke the internet. It was shared 1 MILLION times!

My number one most common way to use this taco seasoning recipe is with these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos. We make them all the time and never tire of them.


If you make this great taco seasoning or any of my other recipes leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up picture of instant pot taco chicken with pico de gallo recipe
bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning
4.92 from 23 votes

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Serves: 1 ounce
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This Homemade Taco Seasoning comes together fast with measurements for one pound of meat or for a whole container to keep in your pantry!  Make it extra spicy or keep it mild.


To Replace One Store Bought Packet (1 ounce or 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Large Batch (The equivalent of 8 store bought packets)

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper


  • Mix together all the spices.  3 tablespoons is equivalent to what you would buy at the store.
Calories: 8kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Fat: 1g (2%) Sodium: 4mg Potassium: 38mg (1%) Vitamin A: 50IU (1%) Calcium: 20mg (2%) Iron: 1.4mg (8%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Denise Frederick says

    5 stars
    Hi, love your recipes, Lisa. Can you tell me how much is liquid needed when making tacos and using taco seasoning? I saw someone on other site stated 2/3 cup liquid to 3T seasoning? Thanks

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can follow the instructions on my Taco Meat recipe, I have it all laid out there. :)

  2. E says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe!! Super easy to make and use. Bye Bye Store bought …
    I use Lisa’s taco seasoning with ground venison ..so 3 tbsps. seasoning to 2/3 cup water to 1 lb. venison. Put 2 tbsps. olive oil in a frying pan and brown the venison(no need to drain), add the water ..let is simmer on med low for 25 mins(watch that it doesn’t dry out if it does add tiny bit more water.. Serve it up the way you like…
    Thank you Lisa !!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like this!

  3. joyce says

    I add one tablespoon of cornstarch to the dry ingredients and mix in. when my hamburger is browned I added the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of water. I find adding the cornstarch and the water make the other ingredients stick to the hamburger and also make a thickened sauce. I love your recipe because you break it down so if you need seasoning but don’t have any mix up and stored.
    It only takes a bit to put the dry ingredients together

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like this recipe!

  4. Leona says

    5 stars
    Hi i just made this this morning and i use it quite often thank you for the recipe it beats going to the store cause i have all the ingredients at home .thanks again and have ba nice day

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Patrick Ellis says

    Thank you for your post! I will try this!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you enjoy it!

  6. AngelfromTheBay says

    4 stars
    It was pretty good, I just tweaked it some and omitted the paprika. Latinos don’t use that seasoning for tacos. I mixed some Hatch New Mexico (spicy) and California chile powder instead. I don’t like to mix salt in my spices. I prefer to control my salt. I use Himalayan pink salt at the end.

    • Lisa Longley says

      This is definitely not meant to be a traditional Latino spice mix, but replicate what Americans are used to buying in the grocery store. I’m glad you liked it and I love that this allows people to control their salt!

  7. Debbie says

    Love your homemade spices!! It’s so much fresher, than what u buy in a packet++it doesn’t have the additives!
    Thanks so much for caring!!🙏🏻💞

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying them!

  8. Linda Beach says

    5 stars
    I am making this today thank you for sharing the only thing I can eat spicy so I am going to use 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun pepper would this be okay

    • Lisa Longley says

      The best part of homemade mixes like this is adjusting them to what works best for you. If that is 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, then do it!

  9. Patty says

    I haven’t made this yet but I’m going to. The grill seasoning from the store is way too salty, so I’m looking forward to flavor with little to no salt. I think I will explore your seasoning mixes more thoroughly, especially the taco seasoning. Thanks for making these available.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You’re welcome!

  10. Derry Bresee says

    I love the recipe amounts of ingredients for taco seasoning. I have all the spices & knowing how many TBS for a lb of meat is VERY helpful, [Ill no need to grab & buy the envelopes of taco seasoning @ the store!! Thanks SO much‼️🫠

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners